Information and Solutions for Men and Women

Saw Palmetto

Compounds in saw palmetto berries are natural 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.

In clinical trials, saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) 160-200 mg 2-3 times daily or
320 mg/day have been used to treat androgenetic and telogen effluvium types of hair loss. In traditional Native American medicine, 1-2 grams of whole berries is used. 50, 96

Physiological Effects and Benefits of Saw Palmetto

  • Results from clinical trials suggest that saw palmetto can successfully treat male androgenetic balding. At least one of these studies was both placebo-controlled and double-blinded, further validating the results. 50, 96 Containing the natural phytoestrogen beta-sitosterol and the antioxidant beta carotene, saw palmetto may also be useful for other types of hair loss. 37
  • The natural 5α-reductase inhibitors in saw palmetto berries prevent conversion of testosterone to the more potent androgen DHT, which is known to be a cause of hair loss when it attaches to sensitive hair follicles on the scalp. 50, 96
  • Lab studies suggest that saw palmetto inhibits both types of the 5α-reductase enzyme, suggesting it may actually work better than finasteride96

  • Some experts warn against using saw palmetto if you already take the 5α-reductase inhibitor Propecia®, blood thinners, or are a pregnant or nursing woman. 2
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